Unions Build Wealth for the American Working Class

Union membership not only increases wealth for working-class families but also narrows racial wealth gaps and offers a path to the middle class.

Many Americans today struggle with low levels of savings, but unions offer working families a viable path to improving their financial well-being. Wealth is the difference between what people own and what they owe in debt, and building and maintaining wealth is crucial for families. Wealth allows workers to cover expenses during emergencies or periods of joblessness; put money toward purchasing a home or raising children; and fund a comfortable retirement. Unions may help families build wealth not only through increased income but also better job stability, benefits, and training.

A Center for American Progress analysis of the effects of union membership on wealth shows that being part of a union is associated with greater wealth for working-class families—defined as households without a four-year college degree—and especially working-class families of color.

The above excerpt was originally published in the Center for American Progress. Click here to view the full article.

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Aurelia Glass

Policy Analyst, Inclusive Economy

David Madland

Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project

Christian E. Weller

Senior Fellow


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